Human resources are a primary asset for SAIs. This includes both their audit and non-audit staff.
For a SAI, leading by example in this area means ensuring appropriately designed and well-functioning human resource management systems that promote ethical behavior and gender-responsive practices across the SAI‘s systems and operations. Beyond leading by example, building good human resources management practices is essential for ensuring and improving SAI overall performance.
IDI’s ‘TOGETHER Initiative‘ will aim at supporting SAIs in enhancing their overall systems for managing human resource, ethics and gender issues, thus contributing to better governance of SAIs for improvement of accountability, integrity and governance in the public sector, and ultimately life of everyone. TOGETHER will comprise three components: an overarching one on human resource management which also reviews ethics and gender; as well as more in-depth interventions on ethics and gender for selected SAIs.
TOGETHER will be offered to SAIs as of early 2022.
Rationale and objectives
Today more than ever, SAIs are expected to act as model organizations in all possible areas, including a sound and inclusive governance of all people working for them. Human resources indeed represent for SAIs , their primary assets. This includes both their audit and non-audit staff. For a SAI, leading by example in this area means ensuring appropriately designed and well-functioning human resource management systems, that promote ethical behavior and gender-responsive practices, across the SAI ‘systems and operations. Beyond leading by example, building good human resources management practices is essential for ensuring and improving SAI overall performance.
In light of above considerations, TOGETHER will aim at supporting SAIs in enhancing their overall systems for managing of human resource, ethics and gender issues, thus contributing to better governance of SAIs for improvement of accountability, integrity and governance in the public sector, and ultimately life of everyone.
Human Resource Management, Ethics and Gender will be the three focus areas covered under this initiative. The main rationale for addressing them under one initiative is that despite that they each of their can be quite broad topics and complex topics in themselves, they obviously share a similar central focus, which people and workers of the organization (as opposed to other areas looking more at systems and operations). From this perspective they necessarily affect each other and can be looked holistically.
The INTOSAI Lima declaration (INTOSAI P-1) recognizes that an effective SAI is dependent on its capacity to recruit, retain, and effectively deploy highly skilled, hardworking, and motivated staff.
Looking then at SAIs practices in governing their human assets in relation Ethics, it is important for SAIs to maintain robust ethical practices at their own level, in order to ensure that based on their audits and other core work, they contribute in a credible manner to improve public sector governance, accountability and integrity, as well as life of citizens. This implies having in place appropriate ethics control systems enabling them to manage and monitor ethical risks, keep staff aware of the importance of ethics and their individual role, and properly address ethical breaches
When it finally comes to gender, data from diverse sources including the 2020 INTOSAI Global Survey, show that the majority of Heads of SAI are males (71%) and members of senior management teams in SAIs are predominantly male as well (61%). Only 32% of SAIs that responded to the 2020 Global Survey include gender and diversity issues in their HR strategy, while 22% do so partially. From 2010 to 2017, the percentage of total female staff as well as professional female staff in the SAI community remained almost the same within each of the INTOSAI regions.
Based on IDI's service delivery model, TOGETHER initiative will seek for a balance between support to SAIs at global, regional and SAI-level. After conducting and documenting a research of SAIs current situation in the areas of human resource management, ethics and gender and based on the results of this research, the objective of TOGETHER initiative will be pursued through a phased implementation strategy addressing each of the three components, as follows:
- Component 1 – SAIs’ Human Resource Management
- Build on pre-existing resources, interventions, and initiatives especially within the INTOSAI community, for developing global material on SAIs HR Basics (this will include some considerations on Ethics and Gender at a basic level) (2021)
- Pilot the ‘SAI HR Basics Training‘ to a small group of SAIs (English) (2022)
- Extend the roll-out of the ‘SAI HR Basics Training‘ to a larger group of SAIs (Arabic, French and Spanish) (2022-2023)
- Provide targeted SAI-level interventions to some SAIs from the pilot ‘SAI HR Basics Training‘ and the Global roll-out. (2022-2023)
- This intervention will aim at providing more contextualized support to SAIs on strengthening specific elements within HR functions.
- Component 2 – SAIs’ Ethics
- Provide targeted SAI-level support on strengthening ethics control systems to SAIs that previously attended the ISSAI 130 assessment under the SAI Fighting Corruption Initiative (on demand)
- Provide on-demand course on ISSAI 130 Implementation and provide targeted SAI-level support to participating SAIs (on demand).
- Component 3 – Gender equality in SAIs
- Design and develop a SAI gender analysis tool
- Pilot the SAI gender analysis tool (2021-2022)
- With the support of external and IDI in-house expertise, provide SAI-level support to SAIs on specific and relevant areas, based on the results from the SAI gender analysis (on demand).